At the time Randa and I got married thirty years ago, we weren’t exactly flush with money. Rather than double our debt load for the sake of celebration, we opted for frugality. Randa reconditioned a wedding dress she found at a thrift store and we bought a set of used rings at a Saint Joseph pawn shop. All three items sufficed for the purpose.
Eventually, taking advantage of improved economic situation, I bought Randa a nicer ring. For sentimental reasons mostly, I kept wearing my original band. It allegedly had a few diamonds embedded in its upper side but not having a jeweler’s microscope, I couldn’t verify that.
About a year ago, the finger on which I wore the ring began swelling. At first, it was only annoying that I couldn’t get the ring off of my hand. Within a few days, though, the swelling caused discomfort. When the swollen area started turning red, I did what any man of elegance, dignity and means would do. I took a pair of diagonal pliers and cut the band. Then, with the aid of a small screwdriver, I pried the sides apart enough that I could slide the ring off. Thanks to such state of the art medical treatment, the swelling subsided.
I hated having to take that particular action but I’m rather well convinced that cutting off a ring is better than cutting off a finger. While I would also agree that losing a finger is preferred over losing a hand, I was happy to keep the choices from escalating to that level of consideration.
There are times when health or other factors of significance require that we sacrifice sentimentality or some other form of self-indulgence in favor of self-preservation. Sometimes it’s to save a finger; sometimes it’s for something even more important.